From Cape York Peninsula to Emerald to Sydney, 19 new teachers are returning to the Sunshine Coast from their high school workplaces to officially graduate together at the USC ceremony tomorrow, Thursday 11 April.
The seven men and 12 women form the first graduating cohort of USC’s Master of Teaching (Secondary), which replaced a previous postgraduate education degree to meet new accreditation standards.
They will be among more than 1,800 USC students graduating this week at 12 ceremonies at Matthew Flinders Anglican College Performance Centre, Buderim.
USC Lecturer in Education Dr Ken Young, who coordinates the Master of Teaching (Secondary) program, said the 19 graduates had studied intensively over summer and winter holiday periods to fast-track their two-year degrees.
“The extremely high calibre of graduates from this program was evidenced by a 100 percent employment rate, with many accepting contracts offered well prior to the completion of the program at the end of 2018,” he said.
Dr Young said school principals and human resources staff had commented on the extensive real-world industry experience of the successful graduates, as well as their strong content knowledge. Students were required to specialise in at least two high school subject areas.
“These graduates translated their own industry skills and experience into their chosen teaching areas,” he said.
Backgrounds included business, architecture, environmental management, microbiology, nursing, information technology, health and fitness, and the creative and performing arts.
Landsborough’s Lauren Watson, who has a nursing background, has flown back from Bamaga where she works at Northern Peninsula Area State College.
The 27-year-old’s husband and two young daughters have joined her for the lifestyle change in the most northern town on Australia’s continent.
“I am calling this the adventure of a lifetime,” she said. “When I started this program, I didn’t imagine that a change of career would take me to the tip of Australia! I’m looking forward to the next wild, exciting, busy few years.”
USC Professor of Education Shelley Dole said the degree enabled people from a range of backgrounds to promote their expertise to the next generation.
“It’s perfect for recent graduates building on Bachelor qualifications, as well as those looking to change paths after working in different careers,” she said.
“The USC program allows students to get into classrooms, interact with students and teach small classes from the very first semester of their program.”